Judge Karyn

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Psi-Judge Karyn is a fictional character from the Judge Dredd comic strip in British comic 2000 AD. Along with Judge Janus, she was an attempted replacement for Judge Anderson who had left Justice Department in 1993.[1] John Freeman wrote most of her solo stories and in 2014 said his last few "are pretty dire, to be frank"; the first Karyn solo strip hadn't been written for Adrian Salmon (there'd been an artist swap) but the second was written "knowing his strengths".[2] When Anderson returned in 1995, Karyn disappeared from the strip except for the story "Judge Dredd: Fetish" in 1997: writer John Smith has stated this was originally written as Anderson but "in the end I wasn’t allowed to use her because she was off in outer space so we just substituted Karyn instead"[3] (the strip had been long delayed and came out when the character had returned). He said in the same interview that he felt it lacked the same emotional weight with Karyn in danger.

The character returned in 2001-5 as Gordon Rennie's Psi-Judge of choice. He introduced the metafictional angle that Karyn wants to become the new replacement for Anderson.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Karyn, a psi judge, first worked with Dredd in the initial Raptaur invasion[volume & issue needed] and would work alongside him several times afterwards. She primarily handled supernatural threats.

In 2116, she was responsible for saving Chief Judge McGruder from the sentient "Skinner" virus[4] and led a team of Exorcist Judges into the Undercity after a mob of vampires. In the latter case she found herself manipulated by the vampire's leader, former Psi-Judge Novell: by acting as the underdog, Novell tricked her into thinking the vampires needed her to persuade Dredd to let them go while they'd already evacuated long before. Dredd told her she'd "fouled up... but not completely. Just don't start making a habit of it."[5]

A few years later, she was nearly killed by a supernatural entity; Dredd went to Pan-Africa and worked with Devlin Waugh to save her.

She had a run of operations with Dredd in the 2120s, including a mission to stop an East-European vampiric entity (termed virkolak), known as the Shadow King, who had been killing Sov asylum-seekers.[6] In 2126, Karyn deliberately attached herself to a covert team infiltrating Sov gulags; she openly expressed a desire to replace Judge Anderson as the department legend and admitted this was her motive for going.[7]

Her career met an ignoble end in 2127. When she and Dredd led a rescue mission into the Undercity, they discovered the Shadow King had escaped there and spent the last four years building up an army of vampiric Troggies. After the creature possessed Dredd, she tried to emulate Anderson again by drawing its spirit into her mind to be imprisoned - the attempt went wrong and she was completely possessed. She is currently locked in a Psi-Division cell, and it is considered unlikely her mind can ever be retrieved.[8]


She has appeared in Judge Dredd as well as her own eponymous series.

Big Finish audio dramas:

  • "Judge Dredd: War Crimes" (by Dave Stone, in 2004)

(This list is incomplete.)


  1. ^ Anderson left in "Childhood's End", Judge Dredd Megazine 2.34
  2. ^ Down the Tubes: “Cabal” finally returns to Judge Dredd Megazine… sort of!
  3. ^ Class of '79: John Smith interview
  4. ^ "Karyn: Skinner" in Judge Dredd Megazine #2.56-2.61, 1994)
  5. ^ "Concrete Sky" Parts 5 and 6, Megazine 2.71-2
  6. ^ "Asylum", Megazine 4.05
  7. ^ Judge Dredd: "Gulag" (by Gordon Rennie and Charlie Adlard, in 2000 AD #1382-1386, 2004)
  8. ^ "Descent" Part 5, prof 1436